Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Children are a reflection of what they learn, see, and do. Most of that input has traditionally come from their parents. In the past, books filled in where parents may have left off, followed by the theater and movies. Eventually, TV filled in the holes. Today, the internet and computer games fill in gaps that are not touched on by parents. In touch parents will augment the "teachings" of the latter with their own take of life. A balance is sought. Of course, the child's own DNA plays a part in the interpretation of what is seen, learned, and experienced.
Poor judgment is something that comes naturally to people. We all make bad calls during our time here. Sometimes they are inconsequential, other times there is a price to pay for not thinking things through. Last summer, here in Sturbridge, there was one of those moments. When I last wrote of the incident, I used the word "stupidity". I regret that choice of wording now as it pertained to the injured party. I was misinformed as to how things had actually occurred, and I was wrong not have looked into it further. That is my only mea culpa.
I won't remove that word entirely, it can easily applied to others, nor will I shrug it off to being "in the wrong place at the wrong time". The event was talked about town as just what it was. Children and adults knew what they were attending, and knew that it was on the sly. When it became obvious that those in charge of the event were impaired by alcohol [ CORRECTION: referring to eye witnesses reports that man in charge of lighting fireworks was under the influence of alcohol, and had an open beer in one hand, and dropped the road flare onto a firework causing it to launch horizontally towards the beach. --ed.] it was the duty of those attending to either stop it, set an example, and leave for their own safety. Maybe some did try to stop it. Maybe some did leave, but most stayed, and as a result a person was hurt. Stupidity still plays a role, and from several directions.
Was the injury the result of an illegal event? Of course it was. Was it also the result of an impaired person playing the god of fire? Yep. And, finally, was it the result of those that knew that things were not on the level, and not safe, sticking it out, and exposing themselves and those with them to danger. You guessed it, the answer is yes as well.
So, what's with the Grand Jury? Well, to point blame for one at those responsible, but aren't all those in attendance at an illicit event complicit in the wrong doing?
I think we should just sit tight, and wait for the Grand Jury to do whatever Grand Jury's do.
In the end, this was an accident. A terrible accident. No one would have ever figured that something like this would happen to them, but it did. Could it have been avoided? Well, duh, of course it could have been avoided.
And, what is all the hullabaloo about the Selectmen not sending a card, or contacting the victim after the event to check on him? It was an accident in town, how does the Selectmen become involved? When I took an ambulance ride a few years ago I didn't get a follow-up call from Town Hall. I got a bill. A bill that had been paid by the insurance, but was sent to me to pay again. I fixed it, but that was the only contact I had with the Town Hall. Was I supposed to get a call, or a card?
What about the countless car accidents here in town, falls off ladders, slips on ice, bee stings, sliced fingers, and broken legs that happen to folks here in town? Is the town required to respond to each and every event with a bit of Hallmark and a home visit?
No, I didn't think so. So instead of trying to make the lack of a Hallmark moment a focus during the upcoming town election, move on.
Let's not continue to use someones unfortunate event as fodder for negative pre-election campaigning. It is what it is, and accident, nothing more.